Does Creation Imply Moral Improvement?

Hello, Dr. Craig. I am an agnostic, former Christian and militant atheist who's been in an unceasing existential crisis for a long time. I read as much as I am able and evaluate the arguments for and against Christianity and the existence of God as much as I can. I have been familiar with your ministry and academic work for several years, and in no small measure I owe my abandonment of Richard Dawkins-type atheism to your work and the intellectual firepower you bring to a defense of Christian theism. I thank you for that, though I won't hide that I remain on the fence and incline against your views. I am no philosopher. I never even graduated from highschool, but I do have a sincere question about God and evil from an angle I have not heard addressed before.
God as classically conceived is the greatest conceivable being, and that includes his moral goodness, i.e., he is the greatest good, by definition. In my understanding this would mean there isn't any state of affairs that in conjunction with God's goodness could yield a morally better state of affairs. No reality could be better than God's very existence as a standalone, brute fact. But you and other theists contend that God allows evil because he has morally sufficient reasons to do. These reasons are such that allowing evil brings about a morally better state of affairs, e.g., it is better for humans to have free will to choose between good and evil than it would be if we were causally determined to choose the good. But then why would God create humans with the capacity for choosing evil in the first place? What moral purpose does this serve if God's own existence is as morally good as it gets? Would not evil be gratuitous by definition? Afterall, human beings with free will to choose evil doesn't add anything to reality in a way that is better than God's own existence, so it seems to me there is no morally sufficient reason to allow evil at all. If God's existence was all reality comprised, this would be 'good enough', because God's nature is maximal, unsurpassable moral goodness and perfection. No moral purpose is served by creating beings with free will to choose evil that is not already fulfilled by God's goodness alone. So why did God create us?
Eric
United States

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